George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.
Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.
Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
A television series was produced in the 70s and 80s and was loosely based on Ingalls’ books- it starred Melissa Gilbert as Laura and Michael Landon as her father, Charles. She is still celebrated today all across the USA, with museums and honouring her, and her name marking her previous homesteads throughout the country.
A keen writer as a child, Ruskin graduated in 1950 after winning several writing competitions in school including the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. He wrote one of his first short stories Untouchable when he was just 16 years old.
Recently King has offered one of his short stories for free online. The story is Laurie and follows a man and his journey through the late stages of grief and a beautiful gift his sister gives him to help him through his pain. In typical King style it is richly written, with a story that sucks you straight in (no spoilers).
Follow the link below to read the free short story for yourself.
Born Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. on 2nd March 1930 in Richmond Virginia, Tom Wolfe showed his love for writing early, as editor of the school newspaper. After graduating in 1947, Wolfe turned down an offer for Princeton University and instead attented Washington and Lee University where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. During his time at university he majored in English, was sports editor of the university newspaper and helped to found a literary magazine, Shenandoah giving him plenty of opportunity to practice his writing and journalistic skills. Read More
This fantastic writer would scoff at anyone who proclaims that politics should be kept away from literature. We’ve gathered 10 of her most insightful quotes here for your perusal…